Just like us, dogs need a comfortable place to lie down when their backs or joints are sore. Picking the right style of bed will help your four-legged friend rest easier.
When your dog is in pain, so are you. A variety of ailments plague the canine, but pain of any kind is high on the list. Whether he has back, hip, joint or neck problems, you want to do whatever is necessary to reduce your dog’s discomfort, and choosing the right bed for him is an important part of the equation. Let’s take a look at the five best bed types for dogs with back or joint pain.
- Bolster beds with a back are a top contender. This type of bed is usually flat with a partial ring of cushion that provides an area for the dog to lean against. This style of bed is excellent for a few reasons. First, dogs that may struggle to get comfortable don’t have to hold themselves in any particular position since they can lie flat and lean into the bolster, taking all the supporting muscle groups out to pasture for a while. This often creates a sense of security as well. A bolster bed also allows the dog to brace himself when he tries to get back up, and prevents uncontrolled rolling, which can both physically hurt and alarm the dog. Additionally, canines with neck problems can extend their head over the bolster, if it’s low enough, and find an angle that is both comfortable and supportive.
- Rectangular or round flat beds are another option that can be ideal because of their sheer simplicity. They are easy to get in and out of, and they don’t allow the dog to become wedged. A dog can assume almost any position in this type of bed, if it is sized appropriately for him, thus giving him a large range of options for finding the most agreeable way to sleep. These beds are also easily washed, a good feature for dogs whose health problems may cause accidents.
- Donut beds, or circular beds with a dropped center, can be a good choice as well – those it depends heavily on the bed itself as well as the dog’s specific health problems. If a dog can only sleep in a curled position, then the donut bed may hold him in that position and allow him to drop the use of supportive muscle groups for complete body rest. However, if he struggles with knee or hip issues, he may have a hard time getting into and out of this type of bed. It could also force a position that is not comfortable for him. Make sure to choose a bed with enough firmness and support in the base cushion to prevent your dog from sinking too far into it; this can make it more difficult for him to get up and can increase his discomfort while resting. In summary, this bed is slightly more limited but could be the perfect fit for certain types of problems.
- Elevated dog beds with a mesh-type bottom may be useful for dogs that have problems bending their limbs due to pain from arthritis or injury. Being able to step directly onto the bed can help these dogs into a lying down position, and assist them in getting up again. This is especially true for tall or large breed dogs who may find it difficult to get up and down. As well, dogs experiencing discomfort or pain are often overly warm, even in cold temperatures, and the mesh under these beds may increase air flow and improve their overall comfort level.
- Memory foam dog beds are usually made by mattress manufacturers. They can be exceptionally comfy because the cushion composition has been designed for humans, which means a great deal of thought and research has gone into their creation. One of these beds can help give a dog overall support when lying down, and allow for a more restful sleep by removing pressure points and distributing his weight correctly. These beds are also often thick, which prevent the cushion from eventually sinking and reducing the bed’s effectiveness.
Dog bed design involves far more than aesthetics. Choosing the right style, shape and composition can make all the difference in helping a dog with pain become as comfortable as possible, allowing for adequate rest and an increased quality of life. With a little research, and perhaps a few dog/parent shopping trips, you’ll be able to find the right fit for your own canine companion!